What do you think?

06 Jan
I see adoptees actively working for legislation to open records state by state and each fight taking years and even decades to win.  I applaud their hard work on behalf of adoptees in that state.  I see compromises in allowing parents to veto the release on the condition that they provide detailed medical history. 
And yet, I see others upset that any compromises are made, New Jersey specifically.  I see them upset that parents have to provide detailed medical history if they veto, which makes no sense at all when history can be documented on a degree of relatedness plus the fact of genetic anti-discrimination legislation on the books.  I see comments about other states open records laws that doesn’t seem quite right based on my recollection of the laws in question.
Compromise is part of life in my world.  I compromise every single day.  We all compromise…its called getting along and getting the job done. 
Personally I have no dog in the fight simply because I have mine and the cost to me was too high for anyone to pay.  And perhaps I would not have paid that price if any type of legislation had been able to be passed in my home state. 
Thinking about it from the above viewpoint, I think I would be okay with not getting mine if I was one of the unlucky few (and I say few simply based on Oregon’s stats) and would rather celebrate those who did gain their original birth certificate because at least some legislation was passed.
I think compromise if it has to happen, is better than no legislation passing at all.  And once legislation is in place and the legislators see that the sky has not fallen on them they may see it wouldn’t hurt to amend it again…that does happen…in real life…everyday…
What do you think?

Posted by on January 6, 2011 in Adoption


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4 responses to “What do you think?

  1. Amanda

    January 6, 2011 at 2:31 am

    I am not one of the ones against the NJ bill. But overall, if I had my choice, I am not a fan of compromise legislation because:

    1. Adoptee Rights is about equality
    2. I do not feel that I have a right to speak for the adoptees who will be left behind.

    We are unequal because we do not have equal access to our birth documentation like everyone else does. Holding a birth certificate in my hands does not make me equal. Being under the same law as non-adopted people does. I have my OBC, but being born in TN, I had to overcome two vetos and pay hundreds of dollars to do it when a non-adopted person pays $6 and gets it, no questions asked. I have an OBC, but I am not equal.

    Compromise has it’s place. But this is not adoptees vs. First Mothers. This is adoptees vs. huge special interest groups (e.g. NCFA). I don’t feel these huge lobby groups deserve compromise over our equality.

    I want to be equal. I deserve to be equal. All adoptees do. I view my adopted status no different than my status as a woman. I, as a woman, deserve to be treated equally too. I would not want my marriage liscense to be a reason for my husband to contest my right to vote. I do not want my decree of adoption to be a reason for someone to contest my right to know who I am and where I come from.

    I feel for the adoptees whose mothers will say “no” and they will be even more less equal than the adoptees who had to jump through a hoop the non-adopted did not and got a “yes.” OBC access isn’t about reunion or medical history. What I do or don’t use my OBC for is none of the government’s business, unless they plan on asking the non-adopted what they want birth certificate for too. 🙂


  2. The adopted ones

    January 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Amanda –

    I do agree with everything you have said that this is an equal rights issue. But I also see how equal rights sometimes requires baby steps. In New Jersey I doubt they would have swayed as many individuals without prior states proving no harm no foul and from those states there are conditions in the laws, waiting periods, contact preference, etc. I just think it is easier to accomplish modification of a law than totally flipping a law and then going back later and making it better. I just don’t know what the right answer is.

    And…this may be unpopular and you are right that it is no business of the government…but I cannot remember seeing anyone who searches, signs up on registries and uses search angels who see their OBC as the only thing they want and also see it as a tool for searching and finding their family so what about those adoptees…who is speaking for them?

    It just gets very complicated and I think in the end baby steps have to be accepted if the other solution is no change at all. The BSE babies don’t have decades left to fight the good fight – when I got out of the hospital my family doctor said to me – you aged 20 years the night you had your heart attack – I will never get those 20 years back. I could have had the knowledge to mitigate the permanent damage…

    And should we not be using all the tools in our tool box to fight the lobbyists and the NCFA? Tools like the new age of personalized medicine that is a reality right now and will continue to become more and more important as genetics plays more and more of a role? Are we excluding those who could help the cause? Because any doctor worth his salt will tell you genetic testing without a family health history really does not provide a real picture of your risks.

    I don’t know what the solution is but NOT being unified isn’t it and no difference in status quo isn’t helping either.


  3. shadowtheadoptee

    January 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I really dislike the veto clause in these situations. A birthparent doesn’t want contact, fine, but to have the power to keep from an adoptee their origins, because they don’t want anyone to know, says so, so many things on so many levels. It dismisses the adoptees original existance at birth. I can’t put into words the feeling I felt when, years after reunion, I was finally able to get my OBC. I had already met both, my maternal and paternal, biological families when I recieved that little piece of paper. Holding it, well, as much as I hate it when the word “real” is used in adoption, frankly, my OBC gave me the feeling of being “real”. kwim? It was proof that the child born to D and E wasn’t a dream, fantacy, or something imagined. I was real.

    Like I said, if a birthparent doesn’t want contact fine, make that the clause. No one has the right to deny any human being their original identity.


  4. The adopted ones

    January 6, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Shadow – I do know what you mean about holding your OBC…it just gets so complicated…I see clearly both sides…like I say I do not know what the answer is but there has to be some change…I don’t know…



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